At the Mountains of Valtos

At the Mountains of Valtos by Mike Jackobo

The mid-morning sun and the moisture in the air create a hazy -and almost mystical- atmosphere on the hills and mountains of Valtos, in western Greece. Of course I took the title by the novella “At the Mountains of Madness” by H.P. Lovecraft. Is there any connection between the region of Valtos and Madness? Well, people there are a bit crazy!

A bit of Geography now. Valtos is the name of a province in the Aetolia and Acarnania prefecture, in western Greece. it is a predominantly mountainous region. Therefore it is full of small, winding mountain roads that are difficult and tiring to wander around. The small area seen in the photo, is a reflection of the topographical relief of the whole region. In a way, it is a continuation of the region of Epirus to the north; there are similarities not only in the geography but also in the culture between them.

Another thing seen in the photo is the humidity and haze. Oftentimes, landscape photography is almost impossible because far details are lost to the eye and the camera. Of course, everything can be used creatively but certain styles of the art, like telephoto landscapes, are often out of the question.

Rising from a Sea of Light

The day I made the photo all the things I mentioned above were working to my favour. I was driving to the eastern part of the province because I hadn’t been there for some years and also, I just wanted to explore new areas. I was descending the winding roads from the first mountain range when I came upon this vista. The thing that most drew my attention was the rays of sunlight passing though the clouds. This was also the most difficult thing to capture because the background is not dark enough to make them stand out. In the end though, I liked the mystical feeling as the mountains appear to rise from a sea of light. A sea of light created by the humidity in the lowlands.

This concludes today’s article. As I was searching on more information about Valtos, aside from my own experience, I came upon a small documentary about the region. It also has the same title as my photo in Greek. Unfortunately though, it’s in Greek only. Στα βουνά του Βάλτου Αιτωλοακαρνανίας

In the article I made a mention on “the first mountain range”. Here is a photo of those mountains.

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